1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
Only God can forgive sin. “To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses” (Daniel 9:9). In Isaiah 43:25, the Lord declares, “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.” Psalm 130:4 says, “But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.”
The reason why only God can forgive sins is that all our sins ultimately defy God’s holiness and truth. Our sins violate His holy commandments. So, every sin offends God! David said in Psalm 51:4, “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight”. The words of the prodigal son in Jesus’ parable best convey this fact – “Father, I have sinned against heaven (God), and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son” (Luke 15:21). Our greatest crime when we sin is that our sin offends the holiness and truth of God.
Also, our sins, which violate God’s holiness and truth, provoke God. He is angry with every sinner. Psalm 7:11 says, “God is angry with the wicked every day.” Isaiah said to Israel which had sinned, “Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward” (Isaiah 1:4).
Thus, to be forgiven by God is a very great blessing that calls for much rejoicing. To be forgiven is to live without the terror of God’s fierce wrath bearing down on our sins. It is to live in peace with God and to have a heart full of peace ensuing from God’s favour and forgiveness.
David was a man rescued from God’s wrath against his sin, and his heart was full of relief, quiet joy and thanksgiving. Every forgiven sinner, being rescued from God’s wrath that would have fiercely raged against him, would certainly exclaim, “Oh, how fortunate I am to have this great escape! How thankful I am that my sins are forgiven and my soul delivered from utter condemnation!” It is such a feeling that finds expression in Psalm 32. He is glad that as a pardoned man, his transgressions are now “forgiven” (nasa’), i.e. all lifted and carried away, and “covered” (kasah), i.e. concealed. All his sins were blotted out, never again to be called into account! The sinner, being forgiven, is now accounted like one who has never sinned. Oh, how blessed it is to be a forgiven sinner!